What does it take to be truly happy? Most would say health, success or money, but true happiness can't be measured or defined. No matter your age, relationship or job status, happiness, above all else, is what we seek. Happiness - when's the last time you full experienced this emotion? Here are 8 things you can do to enhance your happiness today:
- Live in the moment
Mindfulness is bringing attention to internal and external experiences that are happening in the present moment. One way to practice mindfulness is through meditation; take 20 minutes a day to sit down with your eyes closed and observe your physical sensations, thoughts and emotions.
- Make gratitude a part of your routine
It is often easy to get caught up with material items that we don't possess or might be able to afford. Our brains always tend to focus on the negative things in our lives, e.g. failures, discontent and worries. There are several ways to cultivate gratitude like identifying and reflecting on all the goodness in your life, giving a compliment or becoming involved in a cause that's important to you.
- Smile first = be happy later!
Whether fake or authentic, smiling can reduce stress, improve how you feel and it's contagious! Ron Gutman, author of Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act writes, "Lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling can help reduce the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine; increase the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphin; and reduce overall blood pressure."
- Connect with positive and happy people
Happiness is infectious! Spending time with people that are happy and have optimistic outlooks on life will help to lift your mood. Find inspiration in others - focus on the positive, engage in upbeat activities and share your happiness!
- Value experiences over things
Experiences bring more happiness than possessions. Not only do they become part of your identity, the anticipation and enjoyment give you memories that you can savor afterward.
- Sweat it out
Just 20 minutes a day can be all you need to boost your overall happiness. Exercise helps to release feel-good endorphins that improve your mood, increase your brain power, improve your body image and lead to lasting happiness.
- Sleep more
Researchers have discovered that sleep deprivation can lead to persistent worrying and negative thinking. Getting to bed on time and sleeping the recommended hours can improve your happiness and energy levels.
- Practice self-care
Check in with your mind and body and explore how you can improve your total health. Taking even 20 minutes a day to do something for yourself can reduce stress and drastically improve your happiness.